Carpenter's Farm

10 (You)

Poetry Inspired by Carpenter’s Farm – A Serial Novel By Josh Malerman

10 (You)

sometimes incoming messages filter
through clouds of mistranslation
until the message becomes nothing
more than its own response,

“we can’t talk right now,
“you understand…”

we were nine minus 1 then
1 flew the coop, seven went away, and
two came back?
the others stayed behind because

I understand

did they stay behind?
who stayed behind?

it’s hard to pretend to be something you’re
not, particularly when the something you’re
trying to be is yourself,
and you’re feeling more like a you doll than
you are like you

what stayed behind?
what came back?

a suit made of you bearing someone else’s
soul, walking through New York City
with a whole new strut,
impossible dance you’ve never known
before, awkward and elegant,
the soundtrack offbeat and
unaware of itself

Poem by Shane Douglas Keene


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